Meet the Team

We do not want to merely be great; we want to be extraordinary; extraordinary in the size and scope of our business, but more importantly, extraordinary in the impact we have on our clients’ financial lives.

Meet our Partners


David L. Bahnsen, CFP®, CIMA®

Chief Investment Officer

Partner

As the group founder and team leader, David directs all portfolio and strategic asset allocation decisions. He holds numerous financial licenses and designations including Certified Financial Planner™ and Certified Investment Management Analyst®. Previously with UBS Financial, and most recently at Morgan Stanley for eight years where he was promoted to Managing Director, David consistently ranked as one of Morgan’s top financial advisors and was a member of the firm’s exclusive Chairman’s Council.

David is active in a number of non-profit organizations and serves as a board member of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, a Blackstone Faculty member of the Alliance Defense Fund, and Senior Fellow of Economics and Finance at the Center for Cultural Leadership. David has been recognized by Barron's as one of America's Top 1,200 Advisors (2014, 2015), and On Wall Street as a Top 40 Advisor Under 40 (2014).

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Brian T. Szytel, CFP®, AIF®

Managing Director, Private Wealth Advisor Group

Partner

As a Bahnsen Group Partner, Brian manages investment strategy and provides lead relationship management for our clients. He has over 11 year’s of financial advisory experience including Citi Smith Barney, UBS, and most recently at Morgan Stanley where he was promoted to First Vice President.

Brian specializes in personal wealth advising, strategic asset allocation, and advanced estate planning. Brian received his Bachelor’s in Business and Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He holds Series 7, 66, and 31 securities licenses as well as the California Life and Health insurance license.

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Kimberlee A. Davis, J.D., CDFA®

Managing Director, Financial Planning

Partner

As a Bahnsen Group Managing Director/Partner and the Financial Planning Director, Kimberlee specializes in personal wealth advising and oversees financial planning and retirement planning solutions for high net worth individuals and multi-generational families.   She creates, and guides implementation of, cohesive strategies that incorporate all aspects of clients’ financial lives.  Her proficiency also includes helping individuals transition to financial independence after life altering events such as death or divorce.

Kimberlee joined The Bahnsen Group at Morgan Stanley in 2014 and was part of the start-up transition when The Bahnsen Group went independent in 2015.  Kimberlee has a diverse background and more than 25 years of finance, legal and corporate experience. She formerly worked as a corporate securities lawyer, investment banker and Chief Financial Officer.  Kimberlee received her Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service/ International Finance, at Georgetown University as well as a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center.  She currently holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses and the California Life and Health Insurance License.

Kimberlee is an active member of the British American Business Council of Orange County where she sits on its Commerce Committee, a Board member of the Georgetown Alumni Association, Orange County, and a volunteer at Project Hope Alliance.  She is also a recognized member of the Connected Women of Influence.  She also serves as the Vice Chairwoman for the Valiant Women of the Mission Hospital Foundation in Mission Viejo, California which supports Women’s Health Care and Nursing Education. Previously she was President of The Junior League of Northern Westchester, New York.

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Meet the Private Wealth Advisors


Don B. Saulic

Executive Director, Estate Planning

Private Wealth Advisor

Don is the Executive Director of Estate Planning leading all financial and advanced estate planning. He works with clients to create robust and specific financial plans to enable them to help achieve their long-term financial goals. He also provides financial, insurance and investment advisory services to affluent individuals and businesses as a senior private wealth advisor.

Don is active in several public and non-profit boards including the Forum of Christian Business Leaders, YMCA, Steadfast Income REIT, Vanguard University and the Grace and Hope Foundation.

With over twenty-five years of major corporate executive experience, Don has formally held positions as Independent Board Director, President, Chief Operations Officer, Managing Director, and Global Chief Information Officer. Don has a MBA from DePaul University and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Economics from Illinois State University. He holds FINRA Series 7, 24 and 65 securities licenses, California life and health insurance licenses, and holds Certified Public Accountant designation from the State of Illinois Board of Examiners.

Born and raised in Chicago, Don has three daughters, a son and lives in Newport Beach, California. His passion is helping people achieve their life balance goals by counseling them on their spiritual formation, health and fitness, financial planning, relationships, education, and career. Don also serves at church and in the community, spends time with his family, and loves working out, playing sports, and traveling.    


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    Robert E. Graham, CRPS®

    Executive Director, Retirement Plans

    Private Wealth Advisor

    Robert is the Executive Director for our Retirement Plans practice.  In this capacity, he directs and implements our corporate retirement plan consultation and advisory services. He works with Retirement Plan Sponsors to optimize plan services and outcomes. Robert is a Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS™).

    As a Private Wealth Advisor, specializing in concierge services for select clients of The Bahnsen Group, Robert also leads the financial education program, Bahnsen U. He is a graduate of Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, with a B.S. in Finance.

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    Trevor Cummings

    Associate, Financial Planning

    Private Wealth Advisor

    Trevor is a Private Wealth Associate helping clients with customized investment strategies to help meet their specific financial goals.

    Trevor received his Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Biola University and his Masters of Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton. He currently holds the Series 7 and 66 securities licenses and a California Life and Health Insurance license.

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    Meet the Team

    (click on image to view bio)
    Deiya Pernas

    Deiya Pernas

    Managing Director, Investment Solutions

    As Managing Director, Investment Solutions, Deiya serves in a leadership position in our Investment Strategy group, working directly with the Chief Investment Officer on all portfolio and asset allocation decisions.  Deiya heads our Manager Research and Diligence efforts, and is responsible for portfolio analytics, client performance reporting, trading and execution, and overall investment solutions.

    Deiya is to essential to all aspects of trading, asset allocation, performance reporting and manager selection. He manages the infrastructure & processes responsible to achieve both scale and enhance customization in the portfolio management process.

    Deiya joined The Bahnsen Group in 2014 at Morgan Stanley and was a key part of our transition efforts the following year.  He has four years of honorable service in the United States Air Force. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of California, Berkeley and currently holds the Series 7 and 66 licenses. He is a CFA Level III Candidate, having successfully completed the first two levels of rigorous testing.

    Michelle Leivas

    Michelle Leivas

    Executive Director, Client Experience

    Executive Assistant to the CIO

    Michelle’s responsibility is to create an incredible experience for our clients through proactive service and additive value.  She joined The Bahnsen Group in 2006 at UBS Financial Services and moved with the group to Morgan Stanley in 2007 and ultimately to our permanent home in 2015.  Her alignment with the group throughout our evolution speaks to her incredible value for the team and for our clients.  Prior to joining The Bahnsen Group in 2006 she had spent three years at UBS in downtown Los Angeles, three years at Seidler Co., and five years at JB Oxford in Beverly Hills.

    In addition to Michelle’s work in client service, special events, and additive value creation, she also serves as team founder, David Bahnsen’s, executive assistant. 

    Jacqueline O'Hare

    Jacqueline O'Hare

    Executive Director, Operations

    Jackie directs client account operations. She is Brian Szytel’s Executive Assistant and oversees all monthly account transactions for The Bahnsen Group.

    Jackie has over 11 years of experienced Morgan Stanley operations background. She focuses on account operations, check payouts, transfers and journals.

    Brian K. Tong

    Brian K. Tong

    Chief Strategy Officer

    As the Chief Strategy Officer, Brian specializes in the design and management of the Team’s key business efforts.  With over 30 years of experience as a business and brand consultant, Brian heads the Strategy and Communications arm of The Bahnsen Group of HighTower where he cultivates client engagement through a variety of media and communication channels.  Brian has worked with The Bahnsen Group for over a decade before joining the firm from the consulting agency he founded called the Brainyard.  Over that time, Brian designed business development programs, advertising campaigns, and executed on all digital, social, and web site strategies for The Bahnsen Group.  Tong also served on the Client Advisory Board for 5 years.  

    His focus today is providing a clear picture of the investment philosophy and the value of the services of The Bahnsen Group.  He actively manages the major public events and client gatherings and is also a liaison to our public relations agency.

    Brian received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of California, Irvine.  He currently holds a Certification of Sustainable Management from the University of the Pacific.  He has served on numerous board and committees committed to youth health and fitness at the YMCA (Newport-Mesa) and the Boys and Girls Club (Anaheim) and was a founder of the Lean Company with renowned child development physician, Dr. William Sears.  

    Peter Van Voorhis

    Peter Van Voorhis

    Associate, Strategy and Communications

    Peter serves as the Lead Associate for the Strategy and Communications Group.  He designs and manages the Social and Digital strategies for the whole of The Bahnsen Group and is the editor and publisher of most written and video content.  Peter also manages corporate and client public communications through email channels, online advertising, and other client engagement platforms. 

    Peter is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine, with a Finance degree.  Peter also runs the weekly commentary blog, video and podcasts for both The Dividend Café and Market Epicurean, our premier communications platforms.
    Kasey Garcia

    Kasey Garcia

    Associate, Operations

    Kasey provides the lead administrative support to both the Client Experience and Operations Teams where she mirrors the responsibilities of the Executive Director’s of each service group.  She also serves as Administrative Assistant to partner, Kimberlee Davis where her focus is on the effective and strategic servicing of all our clients and prospects.

    Kasey is the primary person for the daily, client facing communications, correspondence and information. She will be responsible for assisting in the personal relationships with the client as well as assist in the efficiencies of Operations.  Kasey’s roles also extend to event management, principally with client attendance, event location coordination, and hospitality.